Former prep schooler faces prison for ‘Senior Salute’ sex assault
(CNN) — A former New Hampshire prep school student convicted in the sexual assault of a fellow student could receive up to 11 years in prison when he is sentenced Thursday afternoon.
Owen Labrie, 19, was convicted in August of five counts, including one felony, in connection with the 2014 encounter at the elite St. Paul’s School in Concord. At the time of the assault, the accuser was 15 and Labrie was an 18-year-old senior.
Authorities said the encounter was part of a school tradition called the “Senior Salute” in which seniors sought to have sexual encounters with younger students — though the school has denied that such a tradition exists.
Labrie was acquitted of the most serious counts, of aggravated felonious sexual assault. But he was convicted of a felony — the use of an online service to seduce, solicit or entice a child under 16 in order to commit sexual assault.
He also was convicted of three counts of misdemeanor sexual assault and child endangerment. His conviction requires him to register on a sex offender list.
Ahead of Thursday’s sentencing in a New Hampshire courtroom, Labrie’s attorney filed a document asking that the judge sentence Labrie only to probation, with conditions that would include counseling and community service.
The filing, which includes letters of support from his peers, notes that he voluntarily participated in a psychosexual risk evaluation, and that the psychologist who examined him recommended that he not be required to register as a sex offender.
Labrie testified during the trial that the encounter in an attic room at the school was consensual, but that there was no intercourse.
He testified that items of clothing were removed, but that the two kept their underwear on. The accuser, now 16, testified that Labrie penetrated her with his fingers before raping her. The prosecutor in the case argued that it was a carefully planned sexual assault.
The trial brought unwanted attention to the elite school, the alma mater of Secretary of State John Kerry and half a dozen congressmen.
CNN’s Aaron Cooper, Boris Sanchez, Ray Sanchez and Dominique Dodley contributed to this report.